X-Men: The Arcade Game

Developer: Konami/Backbone Entertainment
Publisher:  Konami

It's hard to believe that it took Konami 20 years to port this arcade classic to a console, of course now the question is: Has it stood the test of time?

Well, my answer to that would be: It did... for now.

Choosing as one of Six X-men you're sent to stop Magneto in his attempt to take over the world with the use of the robotic Sentinels and your mission will take you to several locations from a generic looking city to the Savage Land and even Asteroid M.

The gameplay is... actually pretty sub-standard when playing alone, you can punch, jump and attack your enemies when they're on the ground which is a very limiting set of moves, I also found that there's really very little difference between each character outside of their special move, made even by worse by the fact that in the default mode there aren't even any item pick-ups to restore it, heck there aren't even any health pick-ups, now that's just cheap, thankfully you can switch from the US version of the game to the Japanese one, which fixes this issue, I also have to give props to the game's enemy variety, they definitely help keep the game fun, especially the boss fights, who are a bit on the cheap side, but they feel very close to what I always imagined when reading the comics.

The games' greatest strength is in its multiplayer and I think Konami knew this, which would explain why it was never ported to 16 bit consoles, having the number of players downgraded from six to merely two would severely dampen the fun in this game, though, to be fair, I found that the gameplay does get a bit too chaotic when there are a lot of players on screen, you'll often get lost in the confusion and there's no real teamwork here, it's really just a case of six people fighting for a common goal in their own way, despite that, it makes the game a little too easy which doesn't really help when compared to how short it is.

Graphically the game looks pretty good, everyone is pretty detailed, colorful and very similar to their 80's comic book counterparts, the soundtrack is also pretty catchy, but the best part is the hilariously cheesy voice acting coupled with the 'Engrish' writing, who could forget Magneto's 'Welcome to die!' line? Well, apparently the developers did, because Emma Frost says the exact same thing on the very next level!

Considering this game was launched in the wake of Final Fight and Streets of Rage I can see why Konami never ported it in its day, without the awesome multiplayer X-men just isn't quite as good, regardless, as long as you can find people to play with online you might want to check this one out, if the servers are abandoned... yeah it's probably not worth it.

Trivia: Did you know that the 'story' in the game directly contradicts the comic books? Magneto was never in control of the Sentinels, in fact, he was usually the Sentinels' prime target.

- Playing with five other people is very fun... if a bit too chaotic
- Great 2D graphics for the time and a pretty catchy soundtrack
- The Japanese Rom fixes some of the issues I found in the US version
- Hilariously bad voice acting coupled with poor 'Engrish' writing
- The game has not one, but TWO different actors saying  'Welcome to die!'
- Singleplayer gets pretty old
- You can easily finish the game in under 30 minutes (there's even an achievement for that)
- When the servers become empty you might as well forget this game ever existed 

Final Grade: C+

Packaging Review: This game is only available through to downloadable services such as PSN and XBLA


  1. I can't say that I've tried this game, but it seems like fun. Even if the fun doesn't like for so long. A chaotic five-player multiplayer sounds entertaining too!

  2. So this is kind of like early Castle Crashers sort of.

    1. This was a very popular genre back in the day though the ability to play with 4+ players was usually limited to the Arcade scene.

  3. I've always been a big fan of the X-men and i remember this game back in the day. Want to play it again soon.

    About your trivia point; actually around the year 2000 Marvel comics launched a comic book called Ultimate X-Men that features the X-men if they appeared in our time and at the end of the first story arc, Magneto takes over a bunch of sentinels and attacks the US. Maybe the writer was inspired by this game... :)

    1. That's pretty interesting, I'd love it if a fan asked him this.